Sunday, January 13, 2008

Movies of note from 2007

Don't worry - I'm not going to regurgitate a list of all the movies I watched in 2007. Instead, I'll focus on a few that were especially enjoyable, interesting, or bad - and movies that I suspect not many people have seen.

The Devil's Arithmetic. I love it when famous actors/actresses do these kinds of low-budget, educational TV films. This one is based on a YA novel and stars Kirsten Dunst (I thought she fulfilled her made-for-TV requirement with "Fifteen and Pregnant," but here we are) and Brittany Murphy. I watched this movie in the middle of the night with Miriam when she was so sick, but even in the wee, bizarre hours of the morning, it was a very moving film about the Holocaust.

Life is Beautiful. I know everyone has seen this movie at least once, but I hadn't watched it in a few years - probably not since fighting off the crowds at the BYU International Cinema. This movie was good before, but since having a child myself, it has become AWESOME.

Mad Hot BallroomSpellbound. I'm grouping these two together because they both focus on elementary school kids in competition (ballroom dancing and the national spelling bee, respectively). I love these movies and try to watch them at least a couple of times a year.

Foyle's War. This is actually a British television mystery series focusing a small-town detective during World War II. The stories are good, the acting is brilliant, and the attention to time period detail is riveting.

The Painted Veil. I already told you about this one.

Les Miserables. This is my all-time favorite book, so I admit that my expectations were high. And on the face it of, this should have been an excellent movie. Liam Neeson is Jean Valjean. Geoffrey Rush is Javert. Uma Thurman is Fantine. Claire Danes is Cosette. What's not to love? The second half of this movie, apparently. The first half moved me to tears, the second half bored me to tears. What a shame. Does anyone know how much time has to pass in Hollywood for another version of a movie to be made?

Millions. This is a cute, cute movie, and I don't think many people have heard of it. The parts with the Mormon missionaries are hilarious.

Dear Frankie. I considered writing a blog post about this one right after I saw it but somehow never got around to it. What an unusual, charming movie. The premise - a woman long estranged from her husband writes letters to her own son from his "father" - is one of those where you know the movie will either be very good, or very, very bad. Fortunately, this one is the former. There is one stupid scene, though - the one in the hospital near the end. You'll know the scene I'm talking about since it's where the f-bomb is said, and thus where the film gets its PG-13 rating. Shame.

The Queen. I wonder if I'm somehow an Anglophile at heart. On the surface, an extremely boring movie where nothing happens. But I loved it.

Aquamarine. I never want my daughter watching these kinds of movies. Ever.

Picnic at Hanging Rock. Quite possibly the FREAKIEST AND WEIRDEST MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN. Sometimes I just don't know what those Aussies are thinking when they make movies.

For a final tidbit of movie-related information, here are the five movies I saw in the theater in 2007. Some of them I saw in the theater because I really wanted to; others were more a matter of circumstance:

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (Amman, Jordan). This movie is awesome if you skip through most every scene with Tia Dalma as Calypso. I know because that's what I did when I watched a pirated copy (after viewing it legally in the theater).

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Amman, Jordan). Maybe this counts for two because I saw it twice in the same day.

The Bourne Ultimatum (Tucson, Arizona)

Enchanted (Glendale, Arizona)

I Am Legend (Idaho Falls, Idaho)

What are your favorites/least favorites/notables of 2007?


shabba shabba said...

I've got to tell you, I loved Ratatouille. And I feel so good about myself for knowing how to spell it.

I'm kind of a movie snob: I watch mostly only animated flicks. I just can't get over how clever some of them are. Ratatouille ranks up there with Monsters Inc. as probably the most clever movies I've ever seen, where you find yourself saying "Wow! I can't believe they just thought to do that!"

That's all. I only saw like four other movies all year. I forgot what they were.

patrick said...

the "les miz" movie with liam neeson was powerful to say the least, very well done

Mikael said...

I will have to check out those ballroom ones, I haven't seen them. And I HATED the last Pirates movie, mainly because it was too long and I couldn't understand half of the story line they were trying to make up. But I am a DIE Hard fan for the 1st pirates, and still madly in love with Jack Sparrow

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Life is Beautiful portrays the desperation of a loving father who, though he can't control his family's circumstances, is able (at the risk of his own life) to give his son both 'a life' and 'life.' One of the most meaningful movies ever made and it will be forever among my favorites.


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